Tulsa Public Schools works to fill open teacher positions

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 9/21/2012 5:28 pm Published: 9/21/2012 2:57 pm

Open teacher positions at Tulsa Public Schools are a cause for concern for some parents in the district.

While TPS works to fill those positions quickly, substitutes are taking over classes. Parents say consistency is critical and without a permanent teacher, they’re worried their child’s education could suffer.

For now, counselors and teacher assistants are being asked to fill in.

Lexi Owens is a second grader at McClure Elementary school. This 7-year-old loves to learn, but lately it’s been difficult. Her original teacher quit shortly after school started, and now the district has to wait on a background check before a new teacher can start. In the meantime, different subs have been filling in the gap.

"We've been doing coloring and word search and we're just doing kindergarten stuff in there,” says Lexi.

The lack of consistency is a big concern for her mother.

"As far as the teacher quitting there's just not a curriculum to follow right now, and so they're just kind of not doing anything,” says Lexi’s mother Stephanie.

"If we could have one sub do the whole two weeks, you wouldn't mind that two week wait,” says Principal, Susan Baston.

Right now, the other second grade teachers are providing lesson plans as principals around the district work to get their teacher vacancies filled.

Currently at the elementary level, there are 10.5 teacher positions open. In the secondary schools, 16.5 teachers are needed, with most of them in math and science. In the interim, schools are desperate for substitutes.

While she awaits the arrival of her new teacher, Lexi can’t help but get excited.

"If she starts then the whole class will get it together, and then we can go back to learning,” says Lexi.

If you would like to apply for any of the open teacher positions or to be a sub at TPS, just log onto the website at www.tulsaschools.org.

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